Intended Outcomes / Program Goals
for All English Majors
Our overall objective is that every student will learn to read critically, think critically, and write
critically, no matter his or her emphasis in the English Department. To that end.
1. Students will have read widely while in the department. They will have a foundation in the canonical works of literature, as well as newer works that challenge or expand the canon. Students are expected to read widely both in and outside their areas of emphasis. Ideally, the breadth of their knowledge will go beyond the time periods, cultures, and specific authors covered in the required U.S. and British writers surveys.
2. Students will have an understanding of and appreciation for the various periods, genres, and styles of literature, ideally going beyond what is covered in the required U.S. and British writers surveys. They should be able to see and appreciate the thematic links and influences between works within and across genres. They are encouraged to attend live theatre performances and to review film critically.
3. Students will have an appreciation for the role of literature and the arts in society and culture. They should appreciate the key role the written word plays in human expression and the search for meaning.
4. Students will develop an awareness of historical context and the particular perspective of the work as it speaks from inside or outside the mainstream culture.
5. Students will acquire the skills to perform close readings/explications of complex literary texts. They will learn the specific language, beyond jargon, to articulate clearly aesthetic concerns and insights and will pursue a facility and appreciation for the use of research to explore diverse critical responses to literature.
6. Students will become accomplished writers of analytical papers. They will be able to provide evidence from the text to support arguments. They should have a strong competency in the use and conventions of the MLA (Modern Language Association) citation style.
Additional Outcomes for the Creative Writing Emphasis:
1. Students will also learn to read as writers: opening up influences, gathering strategies, and widening the range of what is possible in a student’s own writing.
2. Students will appreciate the precarious balance between the solitary act of writing itself and the communal, public act of passing written work before the unblinking eye of the world.
3. Students will develop an appreciative comprehension of both the art and the craft of writing (and the significant abiding differences between the two).
4. Students will discover and establish a genuine self-discipline and a regular work regimen that is viable for the individual student.
Updated August 2009
[back to Our Programs page]